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I would say the 10 spoke would be more structurally sound than the 3 spoke as far as load bearing / impacts go...
 

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I agree for overall strength & rigidity more spokes are better as as long as the spoke mass of the larger number of spokes is greater or equal to the smaller numbered spoke mass. Of course if the impact is directly on one of the three spokes the thick spoke would be stronger. That said, if an impact is solid enough to bend or break a cast spoke, the rim would be toast, so it may be a mute point.
 

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What kind of impact would it take to break a rim? I would think if your hitting something that hard, then likely your spine is broken too. Deflate your tires a little so they flex when hit and you can take some pretty significant bumps with any type rim before anything breaks.

A solid one piece rim would be the strongest, so it would make sense to me that a 3 spoke would be stronger than a 10 spoke, but maybe some rim flex occurs before the spoke breaks so the gaps are a good thing?

What are you planning to ride over that has you asking this question? ;)
 

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The other thing to consider is the cross sectional thickness of the two wheels (old vs. new).
If they are the same thickness then the multi spokes should provide more rigidity. If not then there is no real basis for comparison.
I did bend the lip of my front wheel on a 1st gen 1K when it hit the rear of a car that cut me off, it was enough to deflate the front tire but the wheel did not crack.
I think the material used for these wheels is elastic enough to deform before it would break, excluding of course the extreme cases of impact.
 

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Any kits to use the new '15 Wee's tubeless spokes?
 

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I buckled a front wheel and bent the axle on my 2010 650 when I hit a 75mm lip left at roadworks. I also recall reading on a local motorcycle camping page, that one bloke shattered a front wheel on a Gen 1 650 not long ago.
 

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Another thought is, if you hit something hard enough to damage/crack/break a cast rim, what damage would occur on a spoke rim for that same hit, it seems unlikely the rim would survive without any damage.
 

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The heavy duty spoke wheels of the 650XT. :)
Besides loving his new bike (my favorite strom also)....which mooched the wheels from the Super Tenere.......Big B is correct. The more spokes you have the more the stress from an impact is spread out onto other parts of the wheel. Dirt bikes have spokes....every single one. You see any cast wheels in motocross.....think there is a reason?

The ten spoke is better than a 3 spoke. But, if bashing the wheels is in your future 32 or 36 spokes is the way to go, just be prepared to tension them some at first until they take a set.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks folks, just curious as I had a 3 spoked '09 Wee and had no problems (did not do much rough dirt) so now that I have the Vee2 I was wondering if it would be even stronger than my older Wee 3 spoke. Also I have a Honda CB500X with the 10 spoke design as my main off pavement bike so I was curious as to how strong it might be.
 
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